Monday, June 29, 2015

Blog Kiosk: 6/29/2015 - Dodger Links - Puig, Kershaw and a Lasorda Asteroid


Peek-a-boo! 

Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015Go here to check out more pics from Jon in Miami.  Below are some links to check out:
"It's really almost up to him," Mattingly said. "Is he going to make adjustments to pitching and how they are pitching him? Is he a guy who just goes up there reacting, or does he actually have a game plan?

"Usually, the guys who have a game plan are the ones who can change over time. If you are just reacting, then the way you are the first time we see you is probably what you are your whole career."
There isn’t a mechanical flaw or a decrease in talent for Kershaw. It’s been a combination of bad luck and not being as crisp as he typically is. Although his GB/FB rate is up to 1.98 from 2014’s 1.77, and his FB% is down to 25.6% from last year’s 29.2%, his HR/FB rate has jumped from 6.6% to 17.2%.
This year’s success comes from being in “a great situation” where his game fits better than it would have in the Dodgers’ lineup, Gordon said.

“I appreciate every opportunity they gave me,” he said. “I think it was better for me to go to a different situation.”

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Friday, June 26, 2015

2015 Topps Stadium Club Baseball - The Dodger Insert Cards

The insert cards found in packs of 2015 Stadium Club really do pale in comparison to the base cards in the set.  Although, the on-card autographs I've seen do look great.  Unfortunately, I've only seen a handful of the Dodger autograph cards that are available.  In fact, I have not seen any of the "Co-Signer" or "True Colors" autographs for any player (except as a redemption card).  Go here to check out all of my past post on this set. 

Base Autographs

#SCA-CKW Clayton Kershaw 
(redemption card)


#SCA-FV Fernando Valenzuela                 #SCA-JPN Joc Pederson

Blog Kiosk: 5/26/2015 - Dodger Links - Going on a Coffee Run


A new tradition has been created.  As you'll recall, last season Joc Pederson was called on by the Dodger veterans in the clubhouse to fetch some coffee from a nearby Starbucks in Chicago (as evidenced by this photo instagramed by Joc), so naturally they rounded up several more rookies (including the twice-struck Joc) to carry out the task once again.  Featured above is Mike Bolsinger, Joc Pederson and Adam Liberatore posing with said cups after completing their job.  Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015 on twitter.

J.P. Hoornstra at Inside the Dodgers has a collection of photos found on social media: "Call it a tradition: Dodgers rookies make Starbucks run for veteran teammates."  Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider shares a video here.  Jon SooHoo has a whole bunch of pics from the event on his blog here.

Below are some links to check out:
  • Via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com, "Farmer, Gonzalez tabbed for Futures Game."
  • Dodgers Minor League Strength & Conditioning Coach Ryan Faer writes, "What is Sport-Specific Training for Baseball?"
The planned and periodized training program will usually start on the general training side at the beginning of the off-season, and work its way toward the more specific end of the continuum as the off-season goes along. The rationale behind this is quite simple: build a base of strength and motor control with general training, and then progress and transfer those adaptations to more specific training that matches the demands of the sport.

  • The National Sports Collectors Convention is around the corner, so slowly but surely we'll be getting news about the various promotional / VIP sets being given to collectors.  Topps just announced that they'll be giving out a five-card "cards that never were" set featuring some Hall of Famers in a 1953 Bowman color format; including the Jackie Robinson card below.  Go here to see the other four cards.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

2015 Topps Stadium Club Baseball - The Dodger Base Cards

It's all about the base!

This just might be the best set of the 2015 Baseball season.  Really!  We aren't even half-way through the season yet and I'm certain there's no way either Topps or Panini could possibly make a better set.

Featured here are all of the Dodger base cards to the 2015 Stadium Club brand, and they are all with almost little exception fantastic.

As you know, Stadium Club focuses on photo quality and uniqueness, and for the second straight year Topps gets high marks on both those factors.  There's beautiful photography all around.  The cards can make you smile, reminisce or gaze like you're looking at a beautiful sunset.

Wow!  Topps has done good... Really good.

Go here to check out a complete checklist to this set.

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Unquestionably, the Fernando Valenzuela card below is the best ever.  Ever!  Ever!  Ever!  I keep staring at it wondering if I might be reaching, jostling or lurking in the background. 

That's me... Right?  At center... At the top... Man... I so want that to be me right there.

I just love this card.


#1 Fernando Valenzuela

Blog Kiosk: 6/25/2015 - Dodger Links - Justin Turner, Josh Sborz and Jon SooHoo


Adrian Gonzalez must've liked something about that bat 'cause he sure did put it to good use in the second inning of last night's game.  He pounded out his 13th home run of the season against Kyle Hendricks to put the Dodgers on the board. 

The photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015Go here to check out more pics of yesterday's game from Jon.  Below are some links to check out:
  • Here's some current news on a Dodger draft pick.  Via NCAA.com, "Virginia reliever Josh Sborz headlines the 2015 CWS All-Tournament team."
Virginia reliever Josh Sborz was named the John D. Diesing Sr. Award winner for being the Most Outstanding Player of the 2015 College World Series
  • He's the modern day version of Barney Stein with a bit of Charles Conlon thrown in.  Via Mark Newman at MLB.com, "How Jon SooHoo got the best action shot of 2015."
Can you describe your proximity with regard to the photogs’ well and the fan?
I was in the first base photo well and I had the far right position in the well. The ironic part is that there were two empty seats between me and Mr. Hartley who just so happened to leave their seats after we hit three outs earlier. Everything happens for a reason when the Godforce is involved.
But just as he did a year ago, when he's been placed in the lineup, Turner has done nothing but hit. In fact, while his 157 wRC+ a year ago looked like a total fluke -- given that he'd put up marks of 96, 98 and 99 the three previous years -- he's actually hitting even better this season, cutting his strikeout rate while also hitting the ball in the air more frequently and with more authority, resulting in a 170 wRC+ in the first few months of 2015.
“Some of you guys have been doing the number two and not washing your hands. It’s not good. I noticed it even happening earlier today. So if you guys could just be better about it, that would be great.”

Greinke sat down. The team wasn’t sure if he was serious. When they realized he was, they laughed. Then they took the field, far looser than they had been, and went out and beat the Dbacks. Two days later they clinched the division and jumped in the Dbacks pool.
  • Panini shares some preview images of their Elite Baseball card set, here.  There are over 100 photos.  Check out the Yasiel Puig and Corey Seager cards below.  It releases next week.

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    Wednesday, June 24, 2015

    Clayton Kershaw Featured on Topps 2015 Stadium Club Boxes


    Perennial Cy Young winner and reigning National League MVP Clayton Kershaw is featured prominently on boxes of Topps newest Baseball card set - 2015 Stadium Club.  When you consider that this product is meant to showcase the best photography they could muster it's no surprise they decided to put one of this generations best lefties on the boxes.  Check out a pic of the boxes above.  BTW, this set officially went live today.

    I hope to have photos of all the Dodger cards soon, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, I thought I would share a handful of non-Dodger cards from the set that I thought used outstanding photos. 

    I think the Ernie Banks and Lou Gehrig cards are in a close tie for my favorite.  The Banks card shows him receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.  Lou Gehrig is shown playing leapfrog over a swinging bat.





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    2015 Topps Series 2 Baseball - The Last of the Dodger Insert Cards

    Here is a final look at the Dodger cards available in 2015 Topps Series 2 Baseball.  Unfortunately, I do not have many images to share for these particular subsets.  Below are pics and a checklist for the Strata Cut Signature, MLB All-Star Autographs, Hot Streak and Bunt Player Code Cards. Go here to check out all of my previous post on this set.

    Strata Cut Signatures (#1/1)

    • #SCS-BG Burleigh Grimes
    • #SCS-JR Jackie Robinson

    MLB All-Star Autographs (Walmart Exclusive)

    #ASA-CK Clayton Kershaw

    Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Al Ferrera

    Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.

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    Former Dodger Al Ferrera, in benefit of Operation Hiccup, will meet with fans at Los Nietos Park in Santa Fe Springs this coming Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.  Check out the flyer below.  Autographs with a $5.00 donation.  Hat Tip: Vin Scully is My Homeboy.

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    Blog Kiosk: 6/24/2015 - Dodger Links - Puig, Guerrero and a Catching Baby Daddy


    Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo always seems to find himself in the perfect spot.  He was burping distance from the somewhat controversial play that saw Keith Harley make a one-handed steal of a pop fly out of Adrian Gonzalez's glove.  Check out the fantastic photo he took above.  Via Jon Greenberg at ESPN:
    "Baseball is not a new thing to me," he said. "I didn't want it to hit the ledge and hit him, so I wanted to make first contact, I think."

    More importantly, what was going through wife Kari's head?

    "I was a little bit nervous, a little bit scared he was going to drop the baby," she said. "Fortunately he held on tight to both the ball and Isaac, so we were OK."
    Adrian, on the other hand, had an hilarious response to it all, via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
    "It would have been more impressive if the baby would have caught it," said Gonzalez.
    Go here to check out more photos of yesterday's game from Jon.  Below are some links to check out:
    • Dodgers beat reporter JP Hoornstra has just completed a book about the Dodgers.  It is called, "The 50 Greatest Dodgers Games of All-Time."  You can check it out here.
    • Via Nathan Fenno at the LA Times, "Judge dismisses suit against Dodgers' Yasiel Puig stemming from human trafficking charges."
    Corbacho Daudinot sued under the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991, which allows civil lawsuits in the United States against people who commit torture while acting in an official capacity for another country. He said that Puig falsely accused him of human trafficking — attempting to help Puig leave Cuba — which led to a seven-year prison sentence in 2010.
    Alex Guerrero’s exaggerated enthusiasm couldn’t hide his genuine enthusiasm for the possibility.

    Donde? Philadelphia?” Guerrero said, laughing and raising his hands to the sky in prayer when it was pointed out that his name was likely to come up in speculation as a potential trade chip if the Dodgers are going to acquire pitching help before the trade deadline.
    Trinkwon was named the Top Star of the game. Trinkwon was 2-for-3 with three runs scored, two RBI and a walk. Bellinger doubled and had two RBI. Bellinger was also a part of three fielding double plays.
    • Watch A.J. Ellis with Keith Olbermann to discuss Joe Maddon's stall tactics, Clayton Kershaw, and the Dodgers season thus far.

    Video Link:

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    Tuesday, June 23, 2015

    Dodgers and Fashion go Hand in Hand - Vintage Pics of Models, Dodgers and the Coliseum

    I've been a bit bored, so I figured, "why not?"

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    It comes as no surprise that the LA Dodgers are a fashion magnet.  Earlier this year we saw current Dodger players model clothing by Ted Baker London during their inaugural LADF Blue Diamond Gala, and who can forget the fashionable stylings of Andre Ethier and Juan Uribe

    Of course, fashion models have also found a way to the Dodgers; as evidenced by the photos in this post.

    While perusing eBay I came across a couple of listings featuring a sizable group of ladies posing for the cameras at both the Coliseum and Dodger Stadium while fans and players alike looked on. 

    All of the photos are undated.  Clearly, though, most of the pics are from the LA Coliseum.  So, they date from 1958 to 1961.  In the pic at the very top (see auction here), several Dodger players pose with the models using the Coliseum stands as a backdrop.  From left to right; Stan Williams (?), pitcher Don Drysdale, Dodger coach Walter Alston, and Norm Sherry.

    The grouping of photos below (you can see these at this auction listing) also show both the grandstands and the players dugout at the LA Coliseum.  Click any pic to embiggen.




    What the heck is the lady below holding?  Is that a bat wrapped in lace?

    The photo contact sheet below is at Dodger Stadium.  Walter Alston is in the group photo.

    And here is a lady standing at the on-deck circle with the Coliseum torch in the background (see this auction here).  Is that Gil Hodges on his knee?


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